‘To put a chill on India’: Trudeau on decision to make Nijjar killing allegations public

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asserted that his decision to publicly reference allegations of a potential link between the Indian government and the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar was aimed at \”putting a chill\” on New Delhi to prevent a similar action. This information is reported by PTI, citing a Canadian news agency.

India-Canada relations have faced strain since Trudeau\’s assertion in September, suggesting evidence of India\’s involvement in Nijjar\’s killing, designated as a terrorist by India, in Surrey in June. This led to the expulsion of a senior Indian diplomat in Canada. India rejected the allegations as \”absurd\” and \”motivated,\” reciprocating with the expulsion of a senior Canadian diplomat in Delhi.

In an interview with The Canadian Press news agency, Trudeau explained that he made the announcement on September 18 in anticipation of the information eventually being leaked to the media. He clarified that the message delivered in the House of Commons was intended as an \”extra level of deterrence\” to enhance the safety of Canadians.

Trudeau claimed that his public statement followed weeks of \”quiet diplomacy,\” including discussions with India at the highest levels. He stated that the decision aimed to encourage India to showcase leadership on the world stage during the G20 summit.

\”We felt that all the quiet diplomacy and all the measures that we put in…needed a further level of deterrence, perhaps of saying publicly and loudly that we know, or we have credible reasons to believe, that the Indian government was behind this,\” he said.

Trudeau also mentioned that Canada had warned India about the eventual disclosure of information and emphasized that while Ottawa had kept things diplomatic leading up to the G20 summit, it could not control much beyond that.

Regarding the revelation of evidence, Trudeau expressed that Canada intends to follow a process similar to the United States but noted the differences in their respective investigations. He stated that Canada is investigating a murder with different stakes, and their justice system has different processes.

Last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar differentiated between the US and Canada, stating that the US had provided inputs to India about an assassination plot, while Canada had not, hence there was no question of equitable treatment.

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